Baby conure bites

hiriki

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2014
403
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Chicago, IL
Parrots
(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
(Kiwi - Green Cheek Conure)
(Elby - Lovebird)
(Gorou & Liberty - Ringneck Doves)
Hey all, just wanted to post another post about my new 11 week old conure Kiwi.

He recently discovered biting. By "discovered" I mean that when we first got him, he'd kind of "chew" on us... very light pressure, not painful. Recently, he's started doing this thing where he gradually increases the pressure of his bites until they do hurt. There's no real rhyme or reason to it, it isn't as though he does it specifically when he's mad at us or something, it's kind of like he's treating us like destructible bird toys lol.

I know the conventional advice (put the bird down and ignore them for a bit every time they bite) but do I do this only when he bites hard, or any time he bites at all? Also, is this typical of young birds to experiment with biting at such a young age? He's my first young bird, the rest were adopted as adults, so I'm not sure if he's being uncharacteristically aggressive for a baby or if this is pretty normal. Thanks!!
 

ravvlet

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
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Seattle WA
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Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Broccoli - Dusky Conure - 3?mo old (July 2023 -)
~~~
(Rehomed) Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-2023)
(RIP) Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
It’s normal! Broccoli does this too. When he bites too hard I put him down. He doesn’t like being put down so he has mostly been polite. I also keep a pile of foot chew toys handy whenever he’s out, so that I have something I can give him that he IS allowed to chew on, that isn’t my hand. If he drops the toy and tries chewing a finger again I sit him down and ignore him for a little bit. It’s worked well for us so far.

My pug did this too when he was a puppy, haha. He was very mouthy and would chew till it hurt; so we learned to keep chew toys on every chair and sofa so that if he got into a mood we could redirect. Thankfully birds are quite a bit smarter, and really seem to appreciate positive reinforcement- I shower Broccoli with praise when he chews a toy and not my hand.
 

Greenhouseparrots

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Nov 27, 2022
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UK
Parrots
Crimson bellied conure- Tequila
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Pearled cockatiel- Malibu
Cockatiel- Volkan
Yellow budgies- Pina Colada and Houdini
Blue budgie- Lightning
White and blue budgie- Ciroc
When my conure started doing this I would say "ouch" loudly and put her down. I let her get back on instantly but if she carried on biting then I would either distract her with a toy or just walk away. She quickly learned that I don't like to be bitten even a little bit and now she rarely bites
 

wrench13

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Nov 22, 2015
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Shunning is how adult birds chastise the young'uns in the wild. Put the bird down immediately, turn your back, no eye contact, nuthin', for a minute. Then reengage the bird. Do this EVERYTIME. Put them on a handy chairback, NOT the cage (and I would not give toy to chew on - that only rewards the bite with a toy.).
 

Shaz UK

Member
Aug 17, 2023
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68
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Quaker parrot
With my baby quaker I taught her target training to gently bop my hand or finger with her beak to a verbal command touch. Now when hard nibbling or biting starts she gets one chance to redirect the behaviour I ask her for a touch if she doesn't comply continues biting I gently set her down if she's on me and walk away out of room for moment before returning and asking her for touch again. This cycle continues until she learnt giving the desired attention got attention and treats while biting meant mum disappeared. Their very smart Diva will now bop me with beak over actively biting when she wants attention she still ocassionally tries a nip but consistantcy is key. You do need to allow a little beaking it's natural it's about teaching them the pressure that's acceptable that's important. I've did that by gently playing with her and allowing her to beak until I tell her easy.
 
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